The athletics event of the ongoing Commonwealth Games which begins Tuesday will include some freshly-minted world champions looking to affirm their new-found status, with the likes of Tobi Amusan, Jake Wightman, and Eleanor Patterson set to shine at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Although the Birmingham games have already seen some high-profile withdrawals, there is still plenty of top talent left to put up a show for athletics fans.
The quadrennial event also give athletes a shot at redemption and rising stars to get their first taste of global success…
Tobi Amusan in triple crown bid
Nigerian hurdles sensation Tobi Amusan will be among the big attractions on the track, where she will be looking to add a second Commonwealth Games crown to the world and African titles she won this year.
Amusan sparkled at the recent World Athletics Championships, where she clinched a maiden global title in the 100m hurdles. The 25-year-old Nigerian also chopped eight hundredths off the previous world record in the semi-finals with a time of 12.12 seconds.
British record holder Cindy Sember and Jamaica’s Danielle Williams, who also featured in the final at the world championships, will be among Amusan’s biggest challengers.
Ese Brume looking to reclaim Long Jump gold medal
Olympic long jump bronze medallist and world championship runner-up, Ese Brume, is another strong gold-medal contender in Birmingham.
The African record holder will be looking to add to the gold medal she won at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The 26 year old Nigerian is yet to win another gold in any event since 2014, winning bronze at the Doha World Championships in 2019 and 2021 respectively and silver at the World indoor and outdoor championships in 2022.
Two-horse 100m race?
South Africa’s Akani Simbine and Ferdinand Omanyala of Kenya will continue their rivalry when they go toe-to-toe in the men’s 100m.
Simbine will take some confidence from his third consecutive appearance in a world championships 100m final as he aims to become the first man since British great Linford Christie in 1994 to successfully defend a Commonwealth Games title in the short sprint.
Omanyala has proved to be Simbine’s kryptonite over the last year, usurping the South African of his African record and title.
The half-lap sprint, in turn, could see Adam Gemili and Zharnel Hughes give the home crowd something to cheer about should the English speedsters get their hands on some bling.
Nigeria’s fastest man, Favour Ashe will also be seeking to spring a surprise as Nigerian sprinters resume the elusive search for the men’s blue ribband title at the Games after three silver medal wins.
The women’s race is equally hard to call. Will the Jamaican sprint queens rule again like they did in Eugene where Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson won 100m and 200m gold?